Monday 4 January 2016

Audubon: Birds of America part 1

John James Audubon by John Syme 1826 
oil on canvas 90.2 x 69.8 cm 
The White House, Washington, DC

John James Audubon (1785 - 1851) is perhaps the most renowned wildlife artist in America, universally acknowledged by both art and natural history museums. He was born in 1875 in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti).

From his father's Pennsylvania estate, Audubon made the first bird-ringing experiments. After failing in various business ventures, he concentrated on drawing and studying birds, which took him from Florida to Labrador. His extraordinary four-volume The Birds of America, first published in London in 1827, was a 12-year enterprise that exponentially increased the knowledge of American ornithological and natural history.

Subsequently, Audubon embarked on a companion project for mammals, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

Arctic Hare c1841 
pen and black ink and graphite with watercolour and oil paint on paper 61 x 86.9 cm 
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

This project occupied him from 1830 until his death in 1851. Of the approximately 150 artworks undertaken for this project, nearly half were completed by his son, John Woodhouse Audubon (1812 - 1862).

The images featured in this series are mainly hand-coloured etchings and aquatints, with a few original watercolours here and there. (You can click on individual images to enlarge them).

This is part 1 of a 7-part series on Audubon's Birds of America:

(Click on the images for a larger version showing more detail)

American Avocet

American Bittern

American Coot

American Crossbill

American Crow

American Flamingo

American Golden Crested Wren

American Goldfinch

American Magpie

American Pie-billed Dobchick ( Dabchick )

American Ptarmigan and White-tailed Grous ( Grouse )

American Redstart

American Robin

American Scoter Duck

American Snipe 
watercolour original

American Snipe

American Sparrow Hawk

American Water Ouzel

American White Pelican

American Widgeon

American Woodcock

original watercolour


Anhinga original watercolour

Arkansaw Siskin, Mealy Red-poll, Louisiana Tanager,
Townsend's Finch and Buff-breasted Finch

Audubon's Warbler, Hermit Warbler and Black-throated Gray Warbler

Autumnal Warbler

Baltimore Oriole

Band-tailed Pigeon

Bank Swallow and Violet-green Swallow

Barn Owl

Barn Swallow

Barnacle Goose

Barred Owl

Bartram Sandpiper

Bay-breasted Warbler

Belted Kingfisher

Bemaculated Duck

Bewick's Wren

Bird of Washington

Black & White Creeper

Black & Yellow Warblers

Black Backed Gull

Black Guillemot

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